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5 Skills You and Your Partner Need to Master to Become an Unstoppable Power Couple

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Power Couples: Those two words have to be the sexiest two words in the business world when placed together. What’s even sexier is when OTHERS label you and your significant other as a power couple.

I pride myself on being able to call my girlfriend and I a power couple. We are always on the same wavelength when it comes to goals, ambitions, and our vision. While we weren’t always such a strong couple, what it took to get to that point was a long journey of daily commitment and consistency.

In this article, I am going to share with you what has worked for our relationship over the past 6 years. While most of us feel we can run our business on our own, there are many that wish their significant other were just as involved and passionate about entrepreneurship as we are.

Stay focused on these five power couple truths and watch your relationship and businesses thrive:

1. Shared Vision & Goals

A couple should share a similar vision. Two people with a shared vision is so powerful because both people can always hold each other accountable for their goals in order to achieve that shared vision. If one person cannot buy into the other person’s vision, there won’t be the full support of the actions steps and the process it takes to achieve those goals. I personally love the fact that my girlfriend and I share a similar vision.

“The more people you help become successful the more successful you become.” – Steve Harvey

2. Effective Communication

Business or not, people need to be able to communicate effectively, which was extremely difficult to me when I first got into business. I mean, come on; up until I was 28 years old, I never even knew what “networking” was. However, over time within the business community I learned that communication in relationships is just as paramount as in business. Through solid and effective communication we have been able to understand each other’s struggles more, which has led us to daily masterminding sessions and a growth in our shared vision, mindset, and businesses.

3. Personal Development

Personal development is crucial in business and as a power couple. Being able to grow together professionally and intellectually is such an awarding feeling in my relationship. If you are both learning and growing together, imagine how strong your two minds are together. It’s a proven fact amongst entrepreneurs that focusing on personal growth builds confidence and a strong mindset. Multiply that strong mindset by two and you have one hell of a  power couple, ready to take over the world.

4. Quality Time

If you’re in an entrepreneurial relationship, chances are you have had challenges at times when it comes to quality time with your significant other. Hey, I understand. We all have a “Love for the Hustle,” and so does my significant other. She comes from an entrepreneur household and can hustle with the best of us. So the key to making sure we have our quality time is all based on time management. Remember folks, priorities first.

Although you may be supportive and you are okay with less quality time or cancelled dates, always stick to your values to each other and what’s most important to you both and your shared vision and goals. A power couple is only a power couple because of how strong and committed the two are to their relationship just as much as their business.

They know when to turn off the phone and make time for each other genuinely. Remember, with that also includes effective communication to get schedules aligned.

“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” – Tony Robbins

5. Endless Support & Encouragement

A true power couple cannot stress how much support and understanding there has to be in their relationship. When you’re on the grind and you hit those roadblocks, not too many people are in your corner. As for me though, when I hit those rough chapters in business, other than my mastermind group, I know there is always one person I can count on to always have my back and bring me back into high spirits and push me further than the day before.

Bottom line, a power couple is a couple that are truly confident in their relationship and in business. Two people in a relationship with a shared goal, vision, and mindset are more powerful than business partners. You both know more about each other than you would even care to know about your business partner and accept each other through all the flaws and mistakes.

There is an unspoken commitment that goes beyond business or friendships. In my experience, being with someone who has just as much hustle as me has been a blessing. There aren’t questions about what time I will be home or who I am meeting. We know we are committed to one another and also hustling for a shared vision or our future.

What are some relationship goals every power couple should have?  Comment below!

Jeff Rollon is a real estate professional, author, speaker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. While he loves building businesses and working with his mastermind group, his true passion is maximizing life experiences, human potential, and bringing value to relationships and lives. To connect with Jeff, head over to his Facebook page.

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Life

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

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This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”

All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:

–    I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one

–    I’d read multiple books at the same time – now I do one at a time

–    I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one – meditation

I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.

Here are some examples:

–    I only pursue one passion now instead of many

–    I only execute on one vision instead of many

–    I only use my free time for one activity instead of many

 

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.

I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them. When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

 

I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).

Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!

Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.

 

It creates focus.

Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.

Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.

Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

 

It avoids overwhelm.

We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.

To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.

This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.

Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.

One podcast.

One business.

One romantic partner.

One vision.

One passion.

Embrace the power of doing one thing. 

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Life

3 Mind-Blowing Facts No One Told You About Vulnerability

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vulnerability

Vulnerability; A scary word which was hunting me down for 13 years until I faced one of my biggest emotional breakthroughs. It was the day when my idea of a tough woman fell apart and I was forced to reconsider everything I believed about mental toughness. Before I dive into the 3 important takeaways I learned from this process, I have a confession to make. I was convinced, for 13 years, that vulnerability was one of the biggest weaknesses and anyone who admitted it was a coward. I know, sounds terrifying.

That’s why I developed a strong belief that constant toughness was the only way we could maintain our strength and protect ourselves from hurt. Showing emotions or talking about them became taboo because I believed that’s what the “weak” do. Because of this misconception, my emotional pain was becoming more intense since I wasn’t facing it, I was numbing it.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Crissi Jami

When I admitted for the very first time that I may be a vulnerable person, I almost had a heart attack. I felt a mix of stress, fear and an overwhelming excitement and freedom that I finally let it out. It helped me tremendously in my work as well as my personal life.

Here are the 3 important takeaways I learned from this powerful journey which made me understood the true strength of a human being:

1. Vulnerability is hidden strength and courage

We are living in a society where being perfect and not being “too emotional” works just fine. And this is the place where many of us miss the point of what the real strength represents. One thing we fail to realize is that keeping all of our painful feelings under control and playing a part of a tough cookie isn’t going to last for a long time. It is an illusion which tricks us into believing that we are strong and untouchable and that becomes our weakness.

The moment we accept the fact that vulnerability is a part of a courageous life, we allow ourselves to be real. Realness brings self-respect. Think about it this way, pretending is easy and convenient, but being able to admit vulnerability, that’s what takes guts because we are putting ourselves at the risk of judgment and misunderstanding.

2. Facing your vulnerable state empowers you

Isn’t this ironic? The moment when we start accepting our pain as something that actually exists, we feel stronger even in the weakest moments and here is how I came to this crazy conclusion.

Dealing with vulnerable feelings is something we don’t want to do. So we take that burden and decide that we will deal with it on Monday. 5 years later there is just another Monday. However, when we choose to face our pains, we put ourselves in the process of working on them, analyzing them and learning from them.

Can you imagine that each time when you feel vulnerable, instead of running away from it, you will put up with it? Can you imagine that each time you are faced with something hurtful instead of asking yourself “Why this has to happen to me?” you ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

Power of any vulnerable state is in facing and learning about who we are, what we feel or why we feel it. It helps us in practicing our self-awareness where we better understand how our feelings work and how to deal with them more effectively.

“Courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Like shadow and light, neither one can exist without the other.” – Wai Lan Yuen

3. Embracing vulnerability leads to authenticity

The minute we face those real, uncomfortable emotions, we are being honest with ourselves. I found this as one of the most transforming parts of being vulnerable. We are letting go of pretending or playing it strong all the time. We are letting go of this military approach to life and perfectionism which, by the way, doesn’t exist.

In today’s world, embracing authenticity is a bold and brave decision. If you are anything like me, you know that choosing authenticity over impressing the world around you is a challenging process. It means standing in front of the world, emotionally naked and ready to face any feedback, whether pleasant or unpleasant. But, isn’t this a chance we all want to take?

Conclusion

Accepting vulnerability is one of the most courageous acts we can ever undertake. It’s risky, it’s scary, even terrifying in some cases because people don’t want to “do” vulnerability. Playing who is a bigger badass seems cooler.

But once we step up and decide to speak up about this issue, we open the door for others who are living in this emotional prison without knowing what to do or how to handle it. We give them the opportunity to say two of the most powerful words which stand behind real toughness and those are  “ME TOO.”

How do you handle vulnerability? Comment below!

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Life

Break Up With Doubt to Better Your Relationship With Fear

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As I’ve gone through life, I’ve spent a great deal of my energy working to overcome my fears. From everyday fears like rejection and judgment to more morbid fears like ill health and my demise, I avoided these possibilities like the plague. Unfortunately, my short-sightedness often kept me from starting anything, developing a life of caution and resignation.

I had to make a change and start leaning into my fears. I began to wrap my head around the fact that my fears weren’t real, they were simply creations of the mind. I got better results—acts of courage began piecing my confidence back together one brick at a time. But I was still getting stopped.

Despite being empowered by my own courage, something even more crippling began showing up as a result. I realized this was at the root of most of my fears, harnessing even more power than fear itself. It berated the belief I had in myself, bringing everything else important to me into question.

This feeling was doubt. I was disabled despite the understanding that my fears were simply constructs of my mind. Why couldn’t I shake this?

Fear is objective; doubt is personal

I like to think that fear exists in space. It will always be lurking in some capacity and we have the opportunity to focus on it if we choose. Fear is definitely scary, but it doesn’t have that much to do with us individually. It exists outside of ourselves. We can step up and face it (courage) or refrain from even acknowledging it (boldness) if we so choose.

Doubt is a little more complex. Doubt exists inside of us, challenging the very pillars we constructed to get to where we are today. Doubt has nothing but pessimism to offer about the future, constantly reminding us of our past mistakes.

The reason why doubt is so paralyzing is because we automatically identify with it. We assume because it’s referencing previous shortcomings or falters, that it’s the real us talking to ourselves. The reality is however, that everyone deals with this same thing. By understanding that doubt is simply trash talk at a sporting event, we stop associating with it directly. We tune out the noise and remember who we are. What we’re up to steps to the forefront, toppling over doubt without noticing.

Fear is going to hang around and show up from time to time, which we shouldn’t resist. We can simply acknowledge it and move forward with our original plans in spite of it. By strengthening our belief, hope and faith, doubt can disappear. Doubt only exists within the deficiency of character, which we have full control over developing.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Khalil Gibran

Doubt is the source of our everyday fears

We have hundreds of opportunities each day to make an impact on others. Authentic interactions are more sought-after than ever before. People are really beginning to appreciate what it takes to step into their fears and share from the heart.

But it doesn’t always unfold that way, does it? We often get stopped. In this figurative straightjacket known as doubt, we’re helpless. We try to deal with it but instead end up saying something designed to protect us from showcasing who we really are and what we really feel. Doubt tells us we aren’t inspiring enough. It says we’re full of crap right before we bare our soul. By listening to it, we handcuff ourselves.

Actions equal outcomes. But buried underneath the actions are the beliefs about them, doubt being one of them. Doubt can put a filter on the action if we’re not careful, effectively diminishing the potential for powerful results. Adopting a one-track mind for that particular moment and staying focused on the action will keep us grounded from being influenced by doubt.

With doubt absent, fear becomes healthy

Ever prepare to ask out a member of the opposite (or same) sex and feel your heartbeat increase? How about stepping on stage to deliver a public presentation and instantly feel your face flush? Fear is present, yes, but you’re alive. There’s no more direct notification.

From a third person perspective, my fears didn’t possess nearly as much strength without doubt serving as a foundation. With doubt absent, fear was a diesel engine powered by unleaded gasoline. Like a frightened dog, it was all bark and no bite.

“When in doubt, don’t.” – Benjamin Franklin

People go skydiving for a reason. This dose of healthy fear allows for a broader perspective. It shapes and colors the way we look at life. The little things that we once allowed to ruin our day no longer have the staying power. Fear in itself is not the problem. Fear rooted in doubt is the dream-killer.

By ending your relationship with doubt and getting comfortable with your relationship with fear, what would you finally do that you’ve been held back by? Comment below!

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Life

5 Simple Steps to Creating a Breakthrough in Your Life

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breakthrough

Did you wake up today hoping that today will be the day for your breakthrough? Everyday we see breakthroughs happen.The latest technology crashing into the market, a new overnight success story starring in a Hollywood movie, a business IPO that makes the founders billions in just a few hours.

Often we see these breakthroughs and wonder to ourselves – “when will it be my turn?” We deserve success as much as those people. We are just as smart, or talented, or determined as those people making the headlines, so surely it is just a matter of time.

The problem with this view of the breakthrough process is that we do not see what happened BEFORE the breakthrough. Before the tech launch, there were hundreds of hours of coding, testing and fixing before version 1 was even launched. The breakout technology is already at version 13.1.

Before the Hollywood blockbuster, there were hundreds of auditions, rejections and hours spent in front of the mirror mastering facial expressions. The 90-minute blockbuster is only the tip of that artist’s work.

Before the IPO, there was hustling for sales, funding rejections and moments where the business almost failed. The stock price doesn’t show the blood and sweat that the entire company invested to get to that point.

The reality is there are 5 steps that lead to every breakthrough. If you are waiting for your breakthrough to happen, you need to see where you are on this path.

1. Decide To Be In The Game

First off, you need to make a commitment to get started. Observing everything from the outside and commenting on how you would do it is never going to lead to your breakthrough. You need to have skin in the game. You can’t influence anything if you are only sitting on the bench. This first step is scary as you have to overcome a whole load of fear.

Also, there is no risk associated with being a critic. Theodore Roosevelt said in ‘Man In The Arena’ that critics are “those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”. Instead, you know that to breakthrough, you have to leave that old mindset behind, get in the game and open yourself up to success.

“I wonder how many times people give up just before a breakthrough – when they are on the very brink of success.” – Joyce Meyer

2. Get Started

Start small rather than quitting your job and stating something full time. Think about developing a side hustle first, and growing that to the point that it can replace your salary. Ben & Jerry’s started with a $5 correspondence course in ice cream technology. Vivien Westwood invented the mini skirt but started her fashion career selling homemade jewellery at a market stall on Portobello Road on weekends. Check out books like Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau or 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss for ideas on how to get started.

3. Get Better Every Day

Once you have begun your journey, you will find yourself surrounded by competitors and collaborators and a natural tendency will be to compare yourself with them. The problem with that is everyone is moving at different speeds and at different points in their journey. It can be easy to become deflated if you compare yourself to people much further ahead of you.

Likewise, you can get complacent if you look how much further you have come than people who have just started. Instead, focus on how you can improve yourself each day. The Law of Marginal Gains proves that lots of small improvements eventually turn into huge progress, so try and improve a specific area by 1% every day and see how quickly that all adds up.

4. Network & Connect

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were introduced by a mutual contact. Harrison Ford got a huge break talking about his desire to be an actor when building cabinets for George Lucas. We don’t always know where the contacts we make when networking will take us, but without a strong network and group of contacts, your reach will always be limited.

When networking, think about specific groups of people you want to connect with. The cast of the original Ghostbusters movie all met doing Saturday Night Live. Ask yourself “what is the SNL of my industry?” and then find a way to get into that group of people.

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” – Robert Kiyosaki

5. Teamwork

Players & Coaches Like Michael Jordan said, “talent wins games but teamwork wins championships”. The journey to success can be a long one, and we will need people around us to get all the way. Sometimes we need people to extend our bandwidth of what we can produce. Sometimes we need words of encouragement or someone to bounce ideas around with. Make sure you surround yourself with a team and coaches that will help you play at the level you deserve to be competing at.

So there you have it, these are the 5 steps to creating a breakthrough. There is no telling how long it will take for your breakthrough to arrive, so find a way to enjoy the journey. Ray Croc started McDonalds when he was 53. Vera Wang didn’t make wedding dresses until she was 39. Alan Rickman didn’t get a movie role until he was 28.

Take some small steps immediately after finishing this article. Commit to yourself today to take control of the breakthrough process, rather than waiting for it to happen to you. One day, and before too long, when you wake hoping that today will be the day for your breakthrough… it will be.

How do you create a breakthrough? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

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This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”

All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:

–    I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one

–    I’d read multiple books at the same time – now I do one at a time

–    I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one – meditation

I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.

Here are some examples:

–    I only pursue one passion now instead of many

–    I only execute on one vision instead of many

–    I only use my free time for one activity instead of many

 

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.

I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them. When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

 

I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).

Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!

Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.

 

It creates focus.

Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.

Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.

Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

 

It avoids overwhelm.

We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.

To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.

This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.

Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.

One podcast.

One business.

One romantic partner.

One vision.

One passion.

Embrace the power of doing one thing. 

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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Life

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

Published

on

This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”

All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:

–    I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one

–    I’d read multiple books at the same time – now I do one at a time

–    I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one – meditation

I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.

Here are some examples:

–    I only pursue one passion now instead of many

–    I only execute on one vision instead of many

–    I only use my free time for one activity instead of many

 

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.

I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them. When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

 

I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).

Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!

Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.

 

It creates focus.

Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.

Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.

Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

 

It avoids overwhelm.

We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.

To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.

This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.

Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.

One podcast.

One business.

One romantic partner.

One vision.

One passion.

Embrace the power of doing one thing. 

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Continue Reading

Life

3 Mind-Blowing Facts No One Told You About Vulnerability

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on

vulnerability

Vulnerability; A scary word which was hunting me down for 13 years until I faced one of my biggest emotional breakthroughs. It was the day when my idea of a tough woman fell apart and I was forced to reconsider everything I believed about mental toughness. Before I dive into the 3 important takeaways I learned from this process, I have a confession to make. I was convinced, for 13 years, that vulnerability was one of the biggest weaknesses and anyone who admitted it was a coward. I know, sounds terrifying.

That’s why I developed a strong belief that constant toughness was the only way we could maintain our strength and protect ourselves from hurt. Showing emotions or talking about them became taboo because I believed that’s what the “weak” do. Because of this misconception, my emotional pain was becoming more intense since I wasn’t facing it, I was numbing it.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Crissi Jami

When I admitted for the very first time that I may be a vulnerable person, I almost had a heart attack. I felt a mix of stress, fear and an overwhelming excitement and freedom that I finally let it out. It helped me tremendously in my work as well as my personal life.

Here are the 3 important takeaways I learned from this powerful journey which made me understood the true strength of a human being:

1. Vulnerability is hidden strength and courage

We are living in a society where being perfect and not being “too emotional” works just fine. And this is the place where many of us miss the point of what the real strength represents. One thing we fail to realize is that keeping all of our painful feelings under control and playing a part of a tough cookie isn’t going to last for a long time. It is an illusion which tricks us into believing that we are strong and untouchable and that becomes our weakness.

The moment we accept the fact that vulnerability is a part of a courageous life, we allow ourselves to be real. Realness brings self-respect. Think about it this way, pretending is easy and convenient, but being able to admit vulnerability, that’s what takes guts because we are putting ourselves at the risk of judgment and misunderstanding.

2. Facing your vulnerable state empowers you

Isn’t this ironic? The moment when we start accepting our pain as something that actually exists, we feel stronger even in the weakest moments and here is how I came to this crazy conclusion.

Dealing with vulnerable feelings is something we don’t want to do. So we take that burden and decide that we will deal with it on Monday. 5 years later there is just another Monday. However, when we choose to face our pains, we put ourselves in the process of working on them, analyzing them and learning from them.

Can you imagine that each time when you feel vulnerable, instead of running away from it, you will put up with it? Can you imagine that each time you are faced with something hurtful instead of asking yourself “Why this has to happen to me?” you ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

Power of any vulnerable state is in facing and learning about who we are, what we feel or why we feel it. It helps us in practicing our self-awareness where we better understand how our feelings work and how to deal with them more effectively.

“Courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Like shadow and light, neither one can exist without the other.” – Wai Lan Yuen

3. Embracing vulnerability leads to authenticity

The minute we face those real, uncomfortable emotions, we are being honest with ourselves. I found this as one of the most transforming parts of being vulnerable. We are letting go of pretending or playing it strong all the time. We are letting go of this military approach to life and perfectionism which, by the way, doesn’t exist.

In today’s world, embracing authenticity is a bold and brave decision. If you are anything like me, you know that choosing authenticity over impressing the world around you is a challenging process. It means standing in front of the world, emotionally naked and ready to face any feedback, whether pleasant or unpleasant. But, isn’t this a chance we all want to take?

Conclusion

Accepting vulnerability is one of the most courageous acts we can ever undertake. It’s risky, it’s scary, even terrifying in some cases because people don’t want to “do” vulnerability. Playing who is a bigger badass seems cooler.

But once we step up and decide to speak up about this issue, we open the door for others who are living in this emotional prison without knowing what to do or how to handle it. We give them the opportunity to say two of the most powerful words which stand behind real toughness and those are  “ME TOO.”

How do you handle vulnerability? Comment below!

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Life

Break Up With Doubt to Better Your Relationship With Fear

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As I’ve gone through life, I’ve spent a great deal of my energy working to overcome my fears. From everyday fears like rejection and judgment to more morbid fears like ill health and my demise, I avoided these possibilities like the plague. Unfortunately, my short-sightedness often kept me from starting anything, developing a life of caution and resignation.

I had to make a change and start leaning into my fears. I began to wrap my head around the fact that my fears weren’t real, they were simply creations of the mind. I got better results—acts of courage began piecing my confidence back together one brick at a time. But I was still getting stopped.

Despite being empowered by my own courage, something even more crippling began showing up as a result. I realized this was at the root of most of my fears, harnessing even more power than fear itself. It berated the belief I had in myself, bringing everything else important to me into question.

This feeling was doubt. I was disabled despite the understanding that my fears were simply constructs of my mind. Why couldn’t I shake this?

Fear is objective; doubt is personal

I like to think that fear exists in space. It will always be lurking in some capacity and we have the opportunity to focus on it if we choose. Fear is definitely scary, but it doesn’t have that much to do with us individually. It exists outside of ourselves. We can step up and face it (courage) or refrain from even acknowledging it (boldness) if we so choose.

Doubt is a little more complex. Doubt exists inside of us, challenging the very pillars we constructed to get to where we are today. Doubt has nothing but pessimism to offer about the future, constantly reminding us of our past mistakes.

The reason why doubt is so paralyzing is because we automatically identify with it. We assume because it’s referencing previous shortcomings or falters, that it’s the real us talking to ourselves. The reality is however, that everyone deals with this same thing. By understanding that doubt is simply trash talk at a sporting event, we stop associating with it directly. We tune out the noise and remember who we are. What we’re up to steps to the forefront, toppling over doubt without noticing.

Fear is going to hang around and show up from time to time, which we shouldn’t resist. We can simply acknowledge it and move forward with our original plans in spite of it. By strengthening our belief, hope and faith, doubt can disappear. Doubt only exists within the deficiency of character, which we have full control over developing.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Khalil Gibran

Doubt is the source of our everyday fears

We have hundreds of opportunities each day to make an impact on others. Authentic interactions are more sought-after than ever before. People are really beginning to appreciate what it takes to step into their fears and share from the heart.

But it doesn’t always unfold that way, does it? We often get stopped. In this figurative straightjacket known as doubt, we’re helpless. We try to deal with it but instead end up saying something designed to protect us from showcasing who we really are and what we really feel. Doubt tells us we aren’t inspiring enough. It says we’re full of crap right before we bare our soul. By listening to it, we handcuff ourselves.

Actions equal outcomes. But buried underneath the actions are the beliefs about them, doubt being one of them. Doubt can put a filter on the action if we’re not careful, effectively diminishing the potential for powerful results. Adopting a one-track mind for that particular moment and staying focused on the action will keep us grounded from being influenced by doubt.

With doubt absent, fear becomes healthy

Ever prepare to ask out a member of the opposite (or same) sex and feel your heartbeat increase? How about stepping on stage to deliver a public presentation and instantly feel your face flush? Fear is present, yes, but you’re alive. There’s no more direct notification.

From a third person perspective, my fears didn’t possess nearly as much strength without doubt serving as a foundation. With doubt absent, fear was a diesel engine powered by unleaded gasoline. Like a frightened dog, it was all bark and no bite.

“When in doubt, don’t.” – Benjamin Franklin

People go skydiving for a reason. This dose of healthy fear allows for a broader perspective. It shapes and colors the way we look at life. The little things that we once allowed to ruin our day no longer have the staying power. Fear in itself is not the problem. Fear rooted in doubt is the dream-killer.

By ending your relationship with doubt and getting comfortable with your relationship with fear, what would you finally do that you’ve been held back by? Comment below!

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5 Simple Steps to Creating a Breakthrough in Your Life

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Did you wake up today hoping that today will be the day for your breakthrough? Everyday we see breakthroughs happen.The latest technology crashing into the market, a new overnight success story starring in a Hollywood movie, a business IPO that makes the founders billions in just a few hours.

Often we see these breakthroughs and wonder to ourselves – “when will it be my turn?” We deserve success as much as those people. We are just as smart, or talented, or determined as those people making the headlines, so surely it is just a matter of time.

The problem with this view of the breakthrough process is that we do not see what happened BEFORE the breakthrough. Before the tech launch, there were hundreds of hours of coding, testing and fixing before version 1 was even launched. The breakout technology is already at version 13.1.

Before the Hollywood blockbuster, there were hundreds of auditions, rejections and hours spent in front of the mirror mastering facial expressions. The 90-minute blockbuster is only the tip of that artist’s work.

Before the IPO, there was hustling for sales, funding rejections and moments where the business almost failed. The stock price doesn’t show the blood and sweat that the entire company invested to get to that point.

The reality is there are 5 steps that lead to every breakthrough. If you are waiting for your breakthrough to happen, you need to see where you are on this path.

1. Decide To Be In The Game

First off, you need to make a commitment to get started. Observing everything from the outside and commenting on how you would do it is never going to lead to your breakthrough. You need to have skin in the game. You can’t influence anything if you are only sitting on the bench. This first step is scary as you have to overcome a whole load of fear.

Also, there is no risk associated with being a critic. Theodore Roosevelt said in ‘Man In The Arena’ that critics are “those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”. Instead, you know that to breakthrough, you have to leave that old mindset behind, get in the game and open yourself up to success.

“I wonder how many times people give up just before a breakthrough – when they are on the very brink of success.” – Joyce Meyer

2. Get Started

Start small rather than quitting your job and stating something full time. Think about developing a side hustle first, and growing that to the point that it can replace your salary. Ben & Jerry’s started with a $5 correspondence course in ice cream technology. Vivien Westwood invented the mini skirt but started her fashion career selling homemade jewellery at a market stall on Portobello Road on weekends. Check out books like Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau or 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss for ideas on how to get started.

3. Get Better Every Day

Once you have begun your journey, you will find yourself surrounded by competitors and collaborators and a natural tendency will be to compare yourself with them. The problem with that is everyone is moving at different speeds and at different points in their journey. It can be easy to become deflated if you compare yourself to people much further ahead of you.

Likewise, you can get complacent if you look how much further you have come than people who have just started. Instead, focus on how you can improve yourself each day. The Law of Marginal Gains proves that lots of small improvements eventually turn into huge progress, so try and improve a specific area by 1% every day and see how quickly that all adds up.

4. Network & Connect

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were introduced by a mutual contact. Harrison Ford got a huge break talking about his desire to be an actor when building cabinets for George Lucas. We don’t always know where the contacts we make when networking will take us, but without a strong network and group of contacts, your reach will always be limited.

When networking, think about specific groups of people you want to connect with. The cast of the original Ghostbusters movie all met doing Saturday Night Live. Ask yourself “what is the SNL of my industry?” and then find a way to get into that group of people.

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” – Robert Kiyosaki

5. Teamwork

Players & Coaches Like Michael Jordan said, “talent wins games but teamwork wins championships”. The journey to success can be a long one, and we will need people around us to get all the way. Sometimes we need people to extend our bandwidth of what we can produce. Sometimes we need words of encouragement or someone to bounce ideas around with. Make sure you surround yourself with a team and coaches that will help you play at the level you deserve to be competing at.

So there you have it, these are the 5 steps to creating a breakthrough. There is no telling how long it will take for your breakthrough to arrive, so find a way to enjoy the journey. Ray Croc started McDonalds when he was 53. Vera Wang didn’t make wedding dresses until she was 39. Alan Rickman didn’t get a movie role until he was 28.

Take some small steps immediately after finishing this article. Commit to yourself today to take control of the breakthrough process, rather than waiting for it to happen to you. One day, and before too long, when you wake hoping that today will be the day for your breakthrough… it will be.

How do you create a breakthrough? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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